The BMW X6 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV available since the 2008 model year. It is now in its fourth generation of design.
BMW X6 Design and Introduction
The first sight of the BMW X6 came at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show where a concept model was unveiled. The production model followed shortly behind as it was debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The X6 shares many components with the popular X5. The difference comes from the X6’s overall more aggressive styling and shape, with a significantly lower roofline that slopes toward the rear. The X6 is also slightly longer and wider than the X5. Due to its sloping roof, the X6 is less practical as the X5. The rear cargo area has been reduced and the maximum occupancy started off with only four seats, now available with up to a five-person occupancy. In exchange, the X6 is to be sportier and focuses on the drivability and performance. Peter Tuennermann lead the development one the E71 X6, starting in 2003. Pierre Leclercq served as lead designer. Using much of the X5 as the basis for the X6, the challenges mainly were in presenting a more stylish shape that would allow for improved handling and performance.
Engine Options and Performance
The first generation of the BMW X6 came with a wide variety of gasoline and diesel engine options. The smallest option, used in the xDrive35i, was a turbocharged 3.0L straight-6 (N54/N55) engine with 302 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque. The xDrive50i featured a twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 (N63) engine with 402 horsepower and 443 lb ft of torque. The diesel engine options used a turbocharged 3.0L straight-6 (N57/N57) engine producing up to 302 horsepower and 443 lb ft of torque. The top-of-the-line diesel came in the M50d, with 375 horsepower and a whopping 546 lb ft of torque. All X6s feature BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive technology to provide ultimate traction and performance, even during slick conditions. The X6 was the first BMW to feature its Dynamic Performance Control system, which works with the xDrive system to adjust torque between the front and rear axles, but also uses torque vectoring to adjust the power in the rear axle from side-to-side, as needed for traction and to power through turns.
Additional Variants Introduced
The top-of-the-line X6 M was introduced in 2009. It took the performance to a new height and featured a powerful twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 (S63) with a very impressive 547 horsepower and 499 lb ft of torque. An X6 ActiveHybrid was introduced in 2009 as well, which also uses the twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 N63 engine in conjunction with two electric motors with around 90 horsepower each. It could be driven in electric-only mode, gasoline-only mode, or a combination of the two. Unlike some hybrids that focus on fuel efficiency alone, the X6 Hybrid pushes up the power to 479 horsepower and 575 lb ft of torque, the most torque in all the X6 lineup. It was the world’s most powerful hybrid vehicle at the time.
Second Generation Updates
In 2015, the second generation X6 (F16) was introduced. It retained much of the same overall look and design as the previous generation, along with similar engine and trim options. But everything was slightly improved, showing BMW’s commitment to the X6 model. The engine choices included a turbocharged 3.0L straight-6 engine available in gasoline and diesel, producing up to 302 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque. The xDrive50i came with a twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 with 444 horsepower and 479 lb ft of torque, and can go 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in just 4.8 seconds. The X6 M shaves that down to just 4.2 seconds, with a 567 horsepower version for the 4.4L V8 engine.
Third Generation Changes
The third generation X6 (G06) was released in 2019 as a 2020 model, now using the modular CLAR platform. The exterior staying received a fairly extensive overhaul with the more angular hood shape being the most prominent change. It now features a panoramic roof standard. It still offers the similar 3.0L straight-6 and 4.4L V8 engine options, now pushing out 523 horsepower and 553 lb ft of torque in the X6 M50i. The X6 M pushes out 591 horsepower, while the newly-introduced X6 M Competition pushes that to a whopping 617 horsepower and 553 lb ft of torque. There is no denying that the X6 has taken the X5 to new heights, allowing for many trim levels with seriously impressive power figures and a firm driving control. And for those who want the ultimate power, the X6 M and X6 M Competition allow you to scream down the road in sub-4-second 0 to 62 mph times (3.7 seconds for the Competition) with over 600 horsepower.